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Toyota Camry 2006 and earlier



  • slov98slov98 Posts: 112
    I also have the 03 V6 and the combined mileage I get is about 23mpg, mix driving but I don't have a daily commute, not stuck in traffic, that would make a difference.
  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    - 29.5 mpg over 700 miles (90% highway), traffic jam 40 minutes, full load. Average speed 75 mph

    - 31.4 mpg over 300 miles (98% highway), full load. Average speed 73 mph

    -Mix city and Highway over 400 miles, 1/2 load: 21.4 mpg

    Fuel used: Regular with 87 octane
  • Hello all,
    I've been shopping for a new car to replace my 1991 Camry wagon. Over the past two days, a salesman at my local dealership has encouraged me to plan to buy a 2003(XLE V6 fully loaded). He assured me several times that they were still in plentiful supply.

    Well . . . . when we began to talk numbers today he went off to see his manager and came back looking as if he was about to have a nervous breakdown. He announced that the "production year had ended" and they would no longer be able to get a 2003 from another dealer. To get the car I want, my only choice would be to buy a 2004.

    I'm not opposed to buying an '04, but I'm wondering about this sudden change. The salesman offered to discount the '04 as compensation for the switch. The "discounted price" he quoted is very close to Edmund's TMV for the car.

    Any comments will be welcomed. :-)
  • I just did a quick search in the Southeastern region. There are about 25 2003 XLE V6 models left in the entire region and they seem to be going fast. The last shipments seem to be scheduled to arrive this weekend, so manufacturing has clearly shifted to the 04. A good deal on a 2003 XLE V6 made it rather desirable because nothing significant changes on that model for 04. You need to evaluate the quality of the deal you are going to get on an 04 on its own merits and try to determine if the salesman is just somewhat incompetent (he should certainly be aware of his pipeline) or if you were setup for a classic bait and switch. Good luck.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    94Supra knows his stuff- but I'd like to pose the question, even if this salesperson did "bait and switch", if he is offering you the 04 at very close to the 03 TMV, well thats a good thing- you car will, in theory, remain newer, longer.

  • At this time of year, inventory and availablity changes faster than at any other time.

    The Chicago Region still has over 75 of the XLE V6 on the ground - of course different areas have different availablity.

    I'd say if you can get the 04 at the 03 price go for it. Probably no rebate on the 04 vs. the 03, but it is a year "newer".
  • Thanks for the feedback alpha and 94supra.

    The salesman is offering me an 04 for $50 less than the TMV for 04's. Using the MSRP, Invoice and TMV figures from Edmunds, this will give the dealership a profit of $1732, which includes $500 dealer holdback from Toyota (2% of base MSRP).

    The TMV for an 03 with the same options is $1500 less than the price the salesman offered for the 04.

    Assuming the dealership would not receive the dealer holdback on an 03, if I paid the TMV for an 03 the profit to the dealership would be only $228.

    As the salesman isn't offering anything better than the TMV for the 04 it's clear his statement that his price was "making it up to me for the switch to an 04" is baloney.

    I can check with other dealerships to compare prices on the 04, but I'm also wondering if I want to stay with this dealership or go somewhere else to buy. The salesman seemed genuinely upset, but I can't help but feel I'm being manipulated. Maybe his nervousness was due to the fact that he was trying to pull one over on me.

    I suppose I could check around to see if anyone has an 03 with everything I want and see what other dealerships are like. As I said in my first post, an 04 is fine with me, but then again, if I can save $2000 with an 03 why not go that route? I guess the bottom line is whether the 03's are still available or not.

    The funny thing is that I went to the local dealership looking for an 04 and it was the salesman who suggested I buy an 03 instead!

    Well, I will go forward and see what happens next. Thanks again for the feedback.
  • Thanks Steve. How do you find out what's available in a given area? All I know about is looking at the dealership's inventory if it's available on the net.
  • I hope I'm not taking too much space on this board! I was wondering if anyone has an opinion about how paying cash for a car figures into the bargaining. I plan to pay cash for my new car. I think this would be to the dealer's advantage, but I'm not sure how this might affect the purchase price, if at all.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Take all the space you want, that's what we are here for! :)

    Also, don't miss the resources available on our Smart Shopper board and all of the great info under the blue Tips and Advice tab at the top of the page.

    Keep us posted and good luck!
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    There shouldn't be any different for the purchase price if you plan to pay cash or finance. But I wouldn't mention paying off the car with cash when negotiate. I would add that I would like finance the car through the dealer and look for better deal on the car. This way, the dealer will have another money making opportunity at the finance department for selling extended warranty, auto alarm system, special paint and wax job or the bank process fee & handling fee.
  • Since I'm an inventory manager I have access to view availablity in many parts of the country.

    Looking at the New York Region (which NJ is part of) there appears to be fair amount of the 2003's XLE V6's still available. Of course I don't know what color or option combinations you are looking for.

    Regarding your post talking about TMV's holdback etc. Remember, the best deal is one that you feel comfortable with. Within an hour or so I'm sure you could get pricing from many other dealers in your area. Too many people get caught up in "what the dealer is making off me" syndrome. Dealers are in business to make a profit - it's the American way. There is a saying in the car business "The happiest customers are the ones that paid the most" Why is that ? Because the salesperson will continue to take care of them after the sale and throughout the ownership experience. (I'm sure I'll get jumped on for saying that.)

    If you don't feel comfortable with the salesperson or dealership that you are working with - find another one, there are many out there.

    Good luck !!!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Let's see... as a dealer, I make money at 4 different points in the sale.

    1. The sale of the car.
    2. The sale of aftermarket stuff like undercoating.
    3. The sale of money in the form of financing.
    4. The sale of financial products like GAP and warranties.

    A guy come into the store and announces he intends to pay cash and expects a lower price. As I dealer, what do you think the response would be? "Let me think, if I sell this guy a car and I *know* he is paying cash, I know I can't make any money on the financing and he will only qualify for one of the 4 financial products I sell. Further, from experience, I know he is less likely to buy a warranty or other aftermarket items because it just makes for a bigger check, rather than a small bump in monthly payments. Should I discount this car more for this opportunity to not make any more money?"

    What do you think the answer is?
  • I certainly understand that a dealer's got to make a profit and I'm happy paying a price which is fair to both the dealer and me. I included the info regarding the profit to the dealer in my previous post because I thought it would help to clarify the dealer's position in switching me to an 04 from an 03.

    I've been checking around to see what's available and it's starting to look like I'll be buying an 04. There are a few XLE V6's around, but I'd rather not compromise on color and options.

    I'm inclined to believe that the salesman simply hadn't caught up with the effect the Labor Day sale had on area inventory. I still feel a bit put off by his offer to "make it up to me" in offering the 2004 at a price equal to the TMV. Having said that, I try to give people a chance to make things right, so I'm going talk to him and see what he has to say.
  • Thanks for the input. You've contributed to my education. :-)

    Let me make it clear that I'm NOT looking for ways to cheat a dealer out of his rightful profit. I'm trying to get answers BEFORE these issues come up so I'll be prepared to do business in a way that's fair to the dealer AND fair to me. It's been 12 years since I bought my last car (a Camry wagon) so if I'm going to be an "educated consumer" I've got some homework to do.

    Regarding cash deals - I thought dealers might welcome them for a few reasons:

    1. more money up front (interest earned in their bank account, not mine)
    2. no loan servicing necessary (I would think this would save the dealer a few $)
    3. cash for the full purchase price might be more actual dollars earned than in the case of a lease agreement

    Given the info you've provided, I guess these aren't strong enough reasons to make a cash deal preferable to a financed one.

    Thanks again for your reply. :-)
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    So I think my guess was right. Not mention paying cash for the car could get a better deal. Sales reps usually ask how much you are going to put down. Paying cash for the car or showing you credit card to the sales manager is not a great interest for them. I always mention them that I will finance through the dealer and look for more discount.

    Sorry cliffy. I can only buy 2 out of 4 the financial products, sale of the car and prep. fee.
  • Sorry, I missed your post earlier. It certainly sounds as if your guess was right. My only question is, what do you do when it comes time to close the deal? Do you just say, "Oh I've decided to pay cash for the car." No disrespect intended, but this sounds a bit like *bait and switch* in reverse!
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Once you signed the paper, you are no longer friend with the dealer.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I know this is a Camry discussion and what we are talking about is much more generic, but I'd like to expound on a few things since it was brought up.

    First, financing is easy for us. It take almost the same amount of time to handle a contract as it does a cash deal. Even when we do a deal at "retention", meaning at our buy rate, we get between $100 to $250 from the bank so it pays to do a small amount of extra work. Besides that, we get our money nearly as fast anyway. Cashing a contract takes little more time the cashing a check.

    Next, be honest. If asked how you intend to pay, just tell them you planned on paying cash but would certainly be open to discussing financing if they made it attractive enough.

    My only reason for my original posting was to emphasize that you are not helping your negotiating position by proclaiming that you intend to pay cash. Its the same as announcing, "You have no chance at any form of profit, other than on the sale of the vehicle so you'd better decide now what level is acceptable to you. Once we settle on the price, you're done with any money making potential." You see, it has the opposite effect as you may have assumed.
  • I'm learning. I'm learning! Thanks for the helpful info!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Not a problem. I hope it helps. I've always thought that educated consumers, dealing with respectful dealers can make this a much easier process. It takes both parties agreement to handle thing that way though.
  • Just traded my 2000 Camry V-6 LE for a 2003 Camry V-6 LE and was wondering about the auto headlights/DRLs. On my 2000 Camry they came on automatically depending on the outside light/senser located on the dash. On my 2003, I not only do not see the dash mounted senser but all the brochure says is auto off. Does this work the same as the 2000 or is it different??

    Haven't had it out in the dark yet to see for myself.

  • as far as i know, 03 camry only has auto halogen headlight off when you shut off engine, remove the ignition key, then open driver side door, lacking auto on and off feature, and has DRL off in addition.
  • If you read your manual closely you will see a section for auto on/off headlights. From the best i can gather this is for Canadian Camry's only. If you look up an 03 camry on toyota's canada site it lists a feature that sounds alot like auto on/off headlights. As far as I know what bronze stated above is the case for US camry's. I also had auto on/off on my 96 sable and I miss it on my 03 camry. I am slowly getting into the habit of turning the lights on when I need to. Seems weird to have it only in canada when it use to be on US camry's too.
  • I just traded my 2000 XLE for a 2003 XLE and I have found that the light set-up is different. In the 2000 with the selector in the off position, the auto feature controlled the lights. In the 2003 the selector must be manually placed in the auto feature to have auto on. When auto on is selected and you exit the car the lights stay on for 30 seconds or so or until you lock the doors. I guess it basically works the same but I did find it confusing at first.....The car is Japanese built. This is my fifth Camry and so far is the best.
  • Hey Cliffy,
    I see your points about cash and they make sense. But if a dealer knows I have a check today AND I have to buy by this weekend, is he/she more inclined to spend some time making a deal? Comparing that to someone who may or may not be "financeable."

    I had a friend that sold new cars and he said if you didn't want salespeople to bother you on the lot while you looked, tell them you just moved to town, don't have a job, and don't have prospects for a job. They'll scram like a gun-shy dog! (He said.)

    So wouldn't the reverse be true? I have to buy a car today, I have cash (brand new 20s, ha!) and I want to buy from you. Isn't it better to get that customer for a little less than to let him go buy the same car down the street? PLUS, a sale today will get the dealership some service for many tomorrows? Any validity in any of that?

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    There is a difference between the reaction of a salesman and a sales manager. On the lot, if a salesman knows you have a check in your pocket, he is going to fall all over himself to work with you. Once you get inside, the manager has a different set of information he is looking at. He also isn't paid on your future service work. He has to make his money on this sale, right now.

    I think many consumers try to over analyze this whole thing. It doesn't really matter how much the dealership makes. It doesn't matter what the variable expenses are. It doesn't matter what holdback is. It matters what the payplan is of the decision maker at the store. If the manager is paid on volume or has an incentive to hit certain objectives, you stand a better chance of getting a give-away deal. If the manager is strictly on a gross profit pay plan, he'll pass on offers that are too low.

    Most managers have some volume and some gross aspect to their pay plan. With them, it is a balancing act. If they have a customer offering a stupid low number, but he needs the volume and thinks there is a chance of improving the deal in the finance office, he may take the deal. If he knows he has no chance of improving the deal and it will actually cost him on his paycheck (yes, that happens on a regular basis), he'll "blow 'em out" of the store and let them continue to shop, even if it costs him the volume.

    Remember, we too are humans and have the same bills as you do. We make our decisions based on this.
  • I know that you post here, so I'll quickly ask you this: My 96 Corolla has the RS 3000 system and I need a keyless replacement remote. The one I have now is black, and I'm told that that gray ones for the RS 3000 won't work with my system. Black ones are harder to find on Ebay and appparently more expensive. What's the deal?
  • That answer really dovetails with a situation I had. I didn't get to the dealer until about an hour before closing time. But I knew what I wanted, they had it, and I told the salesman what I could write a check for. He said that sounded good to him, but that he would have to get an okay from the sales manager.

    To make a long story short, we didn't get to the office until about 15 minutes before closing. The salesman was eager to get the paperwork filled out and close the deal. But the sales manager looked at his watch, said it was too late for him and that I should come back on Monday. He made it pretty clear he didn't care if I bought the car somewhere else in the meantime. So, obviously, he didn't think the deal benefited him as much as the salesman did.

    They did keep calling me back, but by then I'd been offered a slightly better deal from another Toyota dealership. But your answer clicks with that experience.
  • Hi, I just had about 1000 miles on my 2003 4 cylinder Camry LE auto. I got a good deal in Southern CA ($16400 before tax) and the car runs great, except when it accelerates at lower driving speed, there is a slight but distinctive part of engine noise which sounds like a metal lid was quickly put on/off a glass beer bottle.

    When accelerating after driving for a while(engine is hot), the sound appears but then disappear briefly just after transmission switching to next gear, and then the sound appears again, disappear just after switching to next gear, and so on,

    Is this normal and everybody hear this sound or something that I should worry about and bring to the dealer. The sound is slight but I am not sure this is related to engine ping or anything else,

    thanks a lot,
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